Yoko Ono Lennon (born February 18, 1933) is a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, songwriter and peace activist. Her work also encompasses performance art, which she performs in both English and Japanese, and filmmaking. She was married to English singer-songwriter John Lennon of the Beatles from 1969 until his murder in 1980.
Ono grew up in Tokyo and moved to New York in 1953 to live with her family. She became involved in New York City’s downtown artists scene, which included the Fluxus group. With their performance Bed-Ins for Peace in Amsterdam and Montreal in 1969, Ono and Lennon used their honeymoon at the Hilton Amsterdam as a stage for public protests against the Vietnam War. The feminist themes of her music have influenced musicians as diverse as the B-52s and Meredith Monk. She achieved commercial and critical acclaim in 1980 with the chart-topping album Double Fantasy, a collaboration with Lennon that was released three weeks before his murder.
Ono married four times to three different people. She was married to Japanese composer Toshi Ichiyanagi from 1956 until they divorced in 1962. Her marriage with the producer Anthony Cox lasted from 1962 to 1968, with a brief hiatus in 1963. In 1969, she married John Lennon, whom she had met in 1966 at her own art exhibition in London. She has a daughter, Kyoko Chan Cox, from her marriage to Anthony Cox and a son, Sean Taro Ono Lennon, from her marriage to Lennon.
As Lennon’s widow, Ono works to preserve his legacy. She funded the Strawberry Fields memorial in Manhattan’s Central Park, the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland, and the John Lennon Museum in Saitama, Japan (which closed in 2010). She has made significant philanthropic contributions to the arts, peace, disaster relief in Japan and the Philippines, and other causes. In 2012, Ono received the Dr. Rainer Hildebrandt Human Rights Award. The award is given annually in recognition of extraordinary, nonviolent commitment to human rights. Ono continued her social activism when she inaugurated a biennial ,000 LennonOno Grant for Peace in 2002. She also co-founded the group Artists Against Fracking in 2012.